Day two of this wonderful festival in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside started with sunshine and showers.
Witch Tripper took the early opening spot on the main stage and instantly had the crowd with their metal set, full of energy and some really heavy rhythm. One of the most entertaining drummers I’ve seen in a while. I’d be really happy to catch these guys again very soon and if their touring schedule is anything to go by, probably will be. One hard working band and thoroughly lovely chaps too. Great job guys.
Scottish band The Amorettes, Gill, Hannah and Heather already have a strong following and this was evident during their blistering set. 3 These girls make some terrific noise between them and seemed to fill the main stage with delightful riffs and crowd pleasing songs. Catch them live when you can.
The iconic Graham Bonnet and his band graced the stage late afternoon and after tempting the crowd earlier with a rocking soundcheck which included half of the track ‘Night Games’ proceeded to rock the house!!! One classic after another including Since You’ve Been Gone, All Night Long, the afore mentioned Night Games, Schenker tracks, Alkatrazz tracks – new track California Air and more Rainbow….Every word being sung with a choir of a few thousand ensuring that the enjoyment was visible, both from the band themselves and from the faces in the crowd. Joey and Mark deserve a specific mention as the new guys in the band who really do deliver live. I had seen the band a couple of nights earlier and sensed the confidence growing both from them and also from the established team of Jimmy, Beth-Ami and Graham himself. A great set full of great tunes.
The mighty FM were met with rapturous applause and cheers. A firm favourite on the live music scene and having been around for shall we say just a few decades! The guys gave a masterful performance; Steve Overland’s voice is stunningly awesome and still makes me go weak at the knees as it has done for over 30 years. Classic songs played by incredible musicians who gel on stage like not many other bands can. Merv, Pete, Gem and Jim are masters of their trade. It was so nice to see other bands, crews and management all standing watching the guys backstage appreciating the talent that graced the stage. Watching the big crowd singing along to every song was special and hearing Shot In the Dark was a privilege.
The mighty FM strikes again!
Then the headliners walked out. The noise was deafening. Y&T are gods in the Rock world with a career stretching back to the 70’s and in a small field in Derbyshire blew the roof off the arena. Dave Meniketti has one of the most recognisable voices and the songs are all also instantly recognisable. A delighted crowd were treated to a two-hour set which included Black Tiger, Mean Streak, Winds of Change, culminating in Forever and Rescue Me. John Nymann was unfortunately not able to play due to illness and for 7/8 songs the band, (Dave, Aaron and Michael) were joined on stage by the rather wonderful Scottish guitarist Ross McEwen, who after only having 24 hours to learn the songs and walk out on stage at Ramblin Man and then at Rock and Blues did an absolutely amazing job! Well done Ross!! Dave is the epitome of a front man – lead guitarist and amazing vocalist who had the crowd eating it up and loving every single minute. What a night and what a set. Catch the band on their autumn tour here in the UK. Always a great night...
As Y&T brought proceedings to a close and the crew started clearing the stage it struck me just how good this festival had been. Top bands, top organisation, top people in general and a truly great couple of days. Thank you Rock and Blues for your hospitality and sheer awesomeness.